The Philippines truly has a very diverse and rich culture coming from different influences without losing our own identity as Filipinos, especially in music. We have a wide variety of genres from indigenous to contemporary music like Hip-Hop.
Due to our close relationship with Americans, Filipinos were exposed to Hip-Hop culture as early as the 80s. Since then, OPM quickly adapted its culture and led to the rise of our very own Andrew E. and Francis M. These two greatly popularized the genre, giving birth to many aspiring rappers. One of them hits the spotlight in the music huerizon, Los Gratis.
Los Gratis, aka 'Free', is a rapper, singer, DJ, and producer, making him one remarkable underground artist making his way to the top. He is one of the rising artists under Wolves Den Entertainment PH, an independent record label he also manages.
EARLY MUSIC CAREER
Free started his career in the music industry as a DJ, creating different kinds of songs from Trap Music to Electronic Dance Music that he played in clubs back in 2013. As he produces songs that he plays on other events, he sometimes creates his rap songs but never dares to release them. It was only for his entertainment, he shared.
Over the years of producing his pieces, he found himself amused one night when he attended a gig that featured many Hip-Hop artists. He even got more inspired to write more and share it with his fellow artists and friends because of this. Upon hearing, Free said his friends frankly told him that his songs were good and convinced him to release them. A few months later, he performed with the roster of rappers he watched performing with the songs he wrote.
It was hard for Free to start his career in the hip-hop scene. However, he's lucky enough to have a solid support system from his friends and broad scope of the network since he started as a DJ.
"Wala talaga akong contact nun nung nag-start ako. Talagang nag-start lang ako nung nakapanood lang ako ng live gig" he said.
LOS GRATIS’ MUSIC INFLUENCE
Although his support system is undeniably strong enough to push him to pursue this path, he admitted that he’s still testing the water at this point. Ever since he started rapping in 2019, Free said that he is yet to find his own voice, the perfect blend of his own. His broad music influence and many creative ideas made it hard for him to process things both as a producer and an artist. From Nordic Folk Music to Contemporary Music, he listens to them all depending on his mood.
However, though it’s hard to incorporate all these influences and ideas in one type of music, he makes sure that he doesn’t strain himself to produce.
“Creativity-wise, I don’t think it's something that I have to push 'coz it comes and go. Yun yung natural na proseso. You cant be creative all the time.” stating that the quality of the song will be affected if it went through a strained process.
Check out this one notable song that he wrote entitled “Bilis”:
He wrote this song in commemoration of his late friend, who just turned 18. In his friend’s passing, he realized that life could be taken away anytime, as the song goes, "Ang bilis lang ng oras, Ang bilis nalang maglaho sa mundo."
So far, Los Gratis has five released songs on Spotify.
As I end my interview with him, he told me that if there’s anything he’d be glad to do, he would be writing a song that anyone can relate to, and it’s one of the things that drives him to write songs and find his own voice.
"Yung feelings ko sa mga nangyayari sa buhay ko. It feels good to actually let it out and have someone listen and relate to it; to write songs that people can relate to and make them feel they're not alone.” he said. “People are often caught up in rat race. Live in the moment!”
You better not miss what Los Gratis has in store. Watch out as he drops his upcoming EP soon! To get more updates from him, follow him on these platforms:
Youtube: Los Gratis
Facebook: Los Gratis Official
Get more info and update from him and the rest of his packs:
Facebook: Wolves Den PH